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Life Without Lead: Contamination, Crisis and Hope in Uruguay

Daniel RenfrewIn this talk, Associate Professor of Anthropology Daniel Renfrew will share excerpts from his book, "Life Without Lead: Contamination, Crisis and Hope in Uruguay." He examines the social, political and environmental dimensions of a devastating lead poisoning epidemic. Drawing from a political ecology of health perspective, Renfrew situates the Uruguayan lead contamination crisis in relation to neoliberal reform, globalization and the resurgence of the political left in Latin America. He traces the rise of an environmental social justice movement and the local and transnational circulation of environmental ideologies and contested science. Through fine-grained ethnographic analysis, this book shows how combating contamination intersected with class politics explores the relationship of lead poisoning to poverty and debates the best way to identify and manage an unprecedented local environmental health problem. 

The talk is sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the WVU Humanities Center.